Script Kiddies or Sophisticated State Actors?
05 Mar 2019
When you manage a lot of websites you see a lot of hacking attempts. For some reason February saw more in one month than in the last few years combined. The Australian government and a lot of media were reporting about "Sophisticated State Actors" trying to get into their computers. I saw several of my sites come under sustained attack. Were they some sort of elite foreign hacking squad? Not likely. The media loves a good hacking story (they think hackers have superpowers) and the government has...
TimelineCMS 6.2 Released With Faster Memory Management
10 Aug 2018
I have just finished upgrading all TimelineCMS standalone and WordPress sites to version 6.2.
This version has improved memory management on Amazon Elastic Beanstalks which makes them more responsive after quiet periods. You might notice that your site jumps to action a lot quicker first thing in the morning now.
Here is a quick refresher on the three main things that make your website work so well.
This software is fully integrated with...
WordPress or TimelineCMS? Por que no los dos?
06 Jun 2018
Since before I started GMAC Internet in 2002 I have been writing my own CMS software and using it for the sites I develop. It is different to WordPress in that it concentrates more on page management (which WordPress is garbage at) and taking social media feeds and putting them on websites as native content (see the New game Plus site for an extreme example of that in action). It also has a concept called "collections" that allows anything to be put into groups of content that templates can use....
Landing Pages, WordPress, Bootstrap and TimelineCMS 6
05 Apr 2018
I have three exciting new developments to announce...1) Landing PagesSometimes you only need a single page website with a contact form. I have used them as part of marketing campaigns for customers where a product-specific page is included in bulk emails or Google AdWords so that the traffic can be more accurately measured. Using Squarespace, Wordpress or TimelineCMS in these cases is not very cost-effective or efficient. Now I can make and host Landing Pages for far less than a full website.Hav...
What Meltdown and Spectre mean for your website
04 Jan 2018
I see a lot of security flaws (I did my Honours year at Deakin University in Distributed Operating System Security) but rarely have I seen anything as significant as Meltdown and Spectre. These are fundamental flaws in Intel's CPU architecture and they can not be properly fixed without replacing every computer's processor. I doubt there is the manufacturing capacity world-wide to replace every single computer CPU so these flaws will be around for a long time.
All cloud provide...
03 Jan 2018
If I host your TimelineCMS or Wordpress site it is about to get even faster. Over the break I worked out an improved way of managing website images and documents that is significantly faster. Want even more good news? Images and documents also now have versioning. That means if you delete or change something you have uploaded to your website I will now be able to get the old version back for you.
Try the Couch Warriors website to see the speed improvements in action. This is a very ...
The Big 2017 Amazon Web Services Migration (and a crash)
11 Dec 2017
Early this year I developed a plan to modernise how I hosted websites and protect them against downtime. Since 2002 I have used very expensive and powerful co-located servers in an Australian datacenter. These were due to be replaced so I started speccing hardware and getting prices... until I saw what Amazon Web Services can do.
The biggest problem with hosting websites is that the amount of visitors can vary a lot during the day and between days of the week. Traditionally, you choos...
4 Big Reasons Why Your Website Needs Cloudflare
06 Dec 2017
All the websites I develop and host now use a combination of Cloudflare plus Amazon Web Services (AWS). These combine to give the fastest, most reliable website hosting environment currently available. Most people only know Cloudflare as DNS management, but it also provides a suite of essential tools for a modern website. These are the best:1) An SSL CertificateStarting in late 2016, Chrome and Firefox began showing warnings for pages that had form elements on them but were not delivered to the ...
Pinterest: The quiet social media giant
16 Oct 2017
Social Media can be a minefield. One wrong step can lead to disaster. Or at least that is how it seems to many businesses. There is an easy solution - stay away from Twitter. That is where all the problems are. Instead, consider the quiet social media giant that is Pinterest.
Here is some research on the demographics of social media users from 2016:
We all know Facebook is king of social media. Unfortunate...
TimelineCMS version 5 has launched
17 Sep 2017
After months of coding and testing, the newest version of TimelineCMS is being rolled out to all our sites.This version uses Amazon Web Services (AWS) for reliable and scalable hosting servers. Each website is now located on its own individual hosting server that has virtually infinite capacity to expand as the number of visitors to the website increases.Why does that matter? You might have heard that Google is using website loading speed as a metric to determine search rankings. The faster your...
Use Social Media As Your Website Content Management System
18 Aug 2015
Never update your website again. It's time consuming and frustrating. So stop and read this for a better way. We are world leaders in linking websites to social media platforms. Yes that is a bold claim, but it is one we stand by. Imagine your website being updated automatically from your social media posts. It really is this easy using our platform. You can try this amazing technology out for yourself. There are some restrictions on what we can do so please check them at the bottom of the ...
Google Rankings and Mobile Devices
15 May 2015
There is a lot of buzz at the moment about changes Google has made to SEO and how websites rank on mobile devices.
As usual with SEO, some of the claims being made are misleading.
What Google is doing is effectively maintaining two sets of rankings for your website - one for mobile devices and one for desktops. If a person searches for your website on their computer they should see it appear in the ranking where it is now. If they search on their phone they will find t...
Preparing For The Future
07 Mar 2015
The internet is almost unrecognisable from when I started GMAC Internet Solutions back in January 2002. The web is the fastest moving area of IT outside of internet security and the moment we relax we get overtaken. Here are some of the major changes we have implemented for our customers in over the last 2 years...
Responsive Design and Mobile Websites
We upgraded all our software to better handle Responsive and Mobile friendly websites. This was a complete overhaul o...
Lessons From Apple
01 Mar 2013
Love or hate them, it's hard to deny that Apple are the most successful company in the world when it comes to marketing their products. I have often joked (or half joked) that Apple does not sell technology - they really sell desire. Here are some quick lessons that every company can take from them and how these lessons apply to your website.Constant Improvement, Perfection is ImpossibleDo you remember the original iPhone? It shook the world. It was a stunning piece of design that looked sex...
Why use Social Media anyway?
20 Dec 2012
The numbers are huge. The marketing and hype are deafening. Social Media is massive. Your business needs to be on it.But why?In August I prepared a Social Media Strategy for Honda MPE. In the following three months the Honda Motorcycles facebook page has (at the time of writing) gone from 16,487 to 30,758 likes - an 87% increase - and their number of Twitter followers has gone from 1,569 to 2,562 - a 63% increase. No black hat methods, payments or autofollows have been used.The strategy for Hond...
Which One Do I Choose?
06 Dec 2012
I get a common question about Social Media. "Which one should I use?". Some people have said to me that they don't like Facebook or Twitter. It is important to remember that none of that really matters because it is not about what you like. It is about how other people like to receive their information.Some people love Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest. Others prefer Email. Some want to visit your website regularly for news or updates. For that reason you should always make your important infor...
Stop Listening To Gerry Harvey!
06 Dec 2012
Every day I read stories about how retail is dead. The internet always gets the blame. That surprises me because there's no rule that says bricks and mortar retailers can't have on-line shops as well.According to a Commonwealth Bank report into on-line shopping habits, 80% of all on-line purchases are made domestically. But wait, isn't everybody buying from China? Not directly. Obviously, people are still trying to buy from Australian companies.The more websites and on-line shops I s...
Bulk Email Campaigns - Do it right or not at all
06 Dec 2012
Your inbox is probably filling up with newsletters as more companies embrace direct marketing. The big problem is that most of them turn you off by being badly formatted, having a large attachment to download, or feel like they are yelling at you.
Now have a look at some of the ones my customers are sending and see the difference. Much better.
For years I have helped customers and their designers set up email campaigns through their websites. That has given me a have a ...
SEO / SEM - 'Number 1 on Google!'
23 Sep 2012
"Dear Sir/Madam, we notice you are not number one on Google for your chosen search terms..." What the hell does that mean? Why does the sender only have an obscure gmail address? How do they know my chosen search terms? There are two ways to try to increase your position on Google. The first is SEO or Search Engine Optimisation. This means changing the contents of your site so Google likes it better and gives you a higher rank. It used to be the way we did things but now it's getting close t...
Social Media and Your Legal Liability
22 Sep 2012
A recent decision by Australia's Advertising Standards Board should concern any business that has a Facebook page but does not pay attention to it. YOU may be legally responsible for what what other people post on your Facebook wall. Yes, you read that correctly.
How did this come about? The ASB was responding to a complaint about the Smirnoff Vodka Facebook page where comments were posted by fans that were "obscene, sexist, racist and depicted irresponsible drinking". Smirnoff di...
Should I get my website updated?
20 Sep 2012
People often ask me if they should redesign their site. Nine times out of ten the answer is "yes". Internet years are like dog years and what looked great 5 years ago will compare badly to your competition now. We all spend a lot of time "researching" on the web. We find a couple of sites and instantly short-list them. It's at that point that your site design can really let you down.
It gets even worse if you are spending a lot of time and money trying to get people to your site. ...
Social Media Secrets
20 Sep 2012
I get asked by a lot of people how they should use Social Media for their business. I have been preparing a detailed Social Media plan for Honda Motorcycles, Marine and Power Equipment and I'd like to share with you some of the initial advice that I give companies like them.
The secret to Social Media
There is no secret. The way Social Media works in your favour is that it allows other people to do your marketing for you. They do this by sharing...
Observations and Trends - December 2011
12 Dec 2011
So this is Christmas... already!
2011 saw some massive changes in website development as we all adapted to a tighter economy. The major trends I've noticed are:
Graphic designers have shifted away from traditional platforms like Nuke, Drupal, Joomla and towards Wordpress. Wordpress has a great library of effects that can be added to sites and look great. It also has an enormous number of templates that can be customised. It still produces cookie-cutter sites.
Cheap Websites Are Cheap For A Reason
01 Jul 2011
There's one company that keeps advertising on the radio at prices that are insanely low. A simple web search tells you why. Have a look at the responses to a question about this company and you'll quickly see a disturbing pattern - http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/archive/1328090
"Am just dealing with [...] and it is a nightmare." "Avoid [...] like the plague!" "i wouldn't touch them with a ten foot pole ever again" "These guys are jokers." "I'm so glad I went elsewhere....